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The Trip To Bountiful

Playing at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre located at 124 West 43rd street.  The play runs two hours with one intermission.  The show has been extended to September 1, 2013.

The show has been nominated for four 2013 Tony Awards, Best Actress in a Play (Cicely Tyson), Best Feature Actress in a Play (Condola Rashad), Best Sound Design (John Gromada) and Best Revival of a Play.   Among the other awards the show has been nominated for are the Drama Desk Award  for Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams, and Condola Rashad

The Trip to Bountiful premiered on NBC on March 1, 1953 staring Lilian Gish and Eva Marie Saint.  The play was performed the same year with the same cast.  It ran thirty nine performances.  In 1985 a movie was made adapted by Horton Foote from the television play.  It starred Gereldine Page.  She won an Academy Award for her performance.

Cicely Tyson was nominated for an Academy Award for Sounder (1974).  She won three Emmy Awards for “Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All” (1994),”King” (1978) and “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” (1974).  These among the many nomination's she has received.

Cuba Gooding Jr. won an Academy Award for “Jerry McGuire” (1996).

Vanessa Williams was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy for “Ugly Betty” (2007, 2008 and 2009).

Condola Rashad was nominated for a Tony Award for “Stick Fly” (2009). She won a Theatre World Award for “Ruined” (2009) and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for this role.

Tom Wopat was nominated for a Tony Award for “A Catered Affair” (2008) and “Annie Get Your Gun” (1999).

The set takes place in Houston, Harrison and a country place in Texas, March 1953. Mrs. Carrie Watts (Cicely Tyson) lives with her son Ludie (Cuba Goding Jr.) and his wife Jessie Mae (Vanessa Williams)

Ludie and Jessie Mae have no children.

Jessie resents Mrs. Watts being with them. She finds fault with things she does, like singing.  However she does like the government checks Carrie get's each month.

Miss Carrie wants to go back to the house she grew up in and raised her family.  She has not been there in twenty years.  Knowing her family won’t take her she runs away to visit her friend in Bountiful.  At the train station she meets young women named Thelma (Condola Rashad). Thelma husband is in the service and she is going home to stay with her family.  Thelma and Carrie spend time together on the train.

Thelma leaves her at the station.  It’s midnight and it’s too late to get someone to take her to Bountiful.   She sleeps on a bench until she can leave.

In the meantime her son alerts the local sheriff (Tom Wolpat) to look out for her.  He tries to keep her at the station but somehow she conveniences him to take her to the house.

Her son and daughter in law find her and take her home.

Carrie doesn't care, she is happy now that she has been home.

This is a wonderful cast.  There are other actors who have walk on roles; some say a line or two.

You can’t tell Cicely is eighty years old.  She adds vigor to her role. Cicely does a remarkable job. 

Vanessa Williams plays one controlling women.  She gets under your skin the way she acts toward her mother in law, but not enough to hate her.  Vanessa does an outstanding job.

Candola Rashad as the scared young women adds innocence to the role. She gets better each time I see her. She does a job well done.

Cuba Gooding Jr. is powerful in the second act.  He holds his own against two strong actresses.

Tom Wopat shows compassion toward Miss Carrie that seems sincere. He does a good job.

I love the scenic design done by Jeff Cowie.  It is not elaborate but makes a statement.  Jeff also did Talley Folly which was a nice set too.

The revival shows no age, it is worth seeing.  Don’t miss a chance to see this marvelous cast.  You won’t be disappointed.

Review by Rozanna Radakovich

Photos by Annazor.

To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for recent photos.  Click on recent photos for this and other shows.

 

 

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